On September 19, 1942, Colonel Leslie Groves and the federal government claimed over 24,821 hectares of land along the Clinch River to use as a secret base for manufacturing uranium for nuclear bombs. This base, named Oak Ridge but also informally known as the Secret or Atomic City, was dedicated to war efforts during the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. The land was chosen because its rural location was favorable for keeping the bomb project hidden and it was close to a hydropower dam that could supply a large amount of electricity for the manufacturing. Locals already living in the area were forced to leave with less than 2 weeks notice and given hardly any compensation, while some did not get compensation at all. No one was informed of why they had to move other than that it was for the war effort . Workers brought into Oak Ridge were segregated, with black workers housed closest to the uranium storage facilities in the lowest quality residences . In the decades since its establishment, Oak Ridge no longer actively creates nuclear bombs but is still actively housing and researching uranium. Tons of radiactive elements have contaminated groundwater and sediments over the years, and shallowly buried nuclear wastes are suspected of continuing to leak into the Clinch River and Watts Bar Reservoir, popular areas for fishing and swimming. Contamination rates in Watts Bar are enough to declare it as a dumpsite . Approximately 1,000 tons of mercury used in the nuclear production process have also been discharged into the environment, contaminating soil, groundwater, air, and the East Fork Polar Creek . Consequently, between 1943 and 1985, 27,982 workers at Oak Ridge were reported to have died from various forms of cancer and leukemia .